tv [untitled] July 18, 2012 10:30am-11:00am PDT
your number to be called, seeing dozens of people in the same position waiting to be called and everyone behind the counter trying to do plan check reading for those to come forward. there is a big gap of time that is neither efficient for the customer, for us time to get permits, and for those trying to process the permits. if the workload is increasing because the uptick in construction, the system will be detrimental to processing permit any more efficiently and faster. thank you. >> if you would line up here so we could be more efficient on getting people to the microphone quicker. neck speaker. -- next speaker. to go good morning. my name is mary fitzgerald. -- >> good morning. thank you for hearing our comments on the system. i would like to commend debt
staff to have beethe staff who n very patient. they have done a great job i think. it is taking longer. i cannot face a specific person about my problem or trade my place in line. to kill some time the past week while i have been waiting i did my zero little survey -- i did my own little survey that was very informal. the taurus is were i like the new system and think it is working out. the second trees if i think it is o.k. but these adjustments. the third was i do not like the new system. i got some comments on these, too. basically the people who did not like the system was 47%. people thought it was okay but
it did work was 35%. the people who like it or 18%. most of the staff did not like it. it was an anonymous survey. the people who like it, did not go to dbi very often. thank you for listening to our concerns today. >> my name is mr. adams. i am at dbi almost every day. i would like to address mr. walker's commission. my understanding is the reason it is not there is because the company went bankrupt. if that is wrong -- that is what i've been told by many people. i think the problems start of the front door. there is gridlock now as you walk in, which i think discourages people from walking in. there is a huge line now to get a number four things before that
you never had to get a no. 4. it is just gridlock everywhere. it used to take maybe three hours to get a permit for the entire day. now it takes twice as long or three times as long. everything is taking much longer. one other issue i would like to bring up is that the drone of the constant number call link is just enough to make someone go postal. people have said it is like dm v, but i have never heard that as a compliment. [laughter] >> next speaker, please. >> good morning. i am a lieutenant with the standards as the fire department. my assignment is at hand check.
we are the guest there. -- is at plan check. plan checkers. normally would be just too. -- would be just two. i have been there virtually every day working with the system. i just wanted everyone to know that every new system will have bugs, and this is no exception. i think we have gotten rid of a lot of them, which were really only because what we have left is still a system that is not working. that is after we got rid of a lot of the bugs. i understand there was going to be effort to change the program a little bit so we would have other options so it could be more flexible, but from what i understand of the system, flexibility is not high on options list.
we have to basically adapt to the system, which is more than inconvenience, but usually not productive. if i had to say what the productivity is now compared to before, i would say as far as the plan checkers are concerned for the fire department, we're doing twice the work for half the production that we used to have. that is the worst day. other days we but it probably pretty close to even. we have plan checkers that are working very hard most of the time they are at the counter. so they have the anxiety of what they're not they're still in the system. we field requests all the time to find out if the numbers are still there. i dread that personally.
i would jump in and fill in, but i stressed out when they asked me and cannot find their number because i do not like giving them that answer. more often than not it is a mistake on our part. but there is a fix for that. if i could get a few more minutes. and unfortunately that fix requires the plan check to get up and ask for the customer over to intake and try to get them another number, or you could say go back over there and get a number. most customers do not want to hear that because that means they have to wait in of long white again. sometimes that helps resolve getting another number quicker. there is a lot of wasted time,
mainly i think in addition to the other glitches because when you have a number that is out there the has been polled and not used, we still have to call it, because we do not know that never has been abandoned or it is one of 10 that someone pulled out, thinking that might help speed the process along. each member could take as long as three or four minutes to clear. that is three or four eminence'minutes. if you had 100 numbers that were polled and abandoned, that is 300 minutes. three or four minutes * 100 times several stations. you can see how there is built in wasted time because you do not want to ignore the numbers but keep calling them. unfortunately the drone of having them call over and over again. there are so many legitimate
reasons why they are not there. they only get three shots of getting their number call before they are recycled out of the system and then have to start all over. there are a lot of problems that i think we ever do work out, but still have a system that is not adaptable to our complicated needs. >> think you, inspector, for your comments. -- thank you. >> jerry brown. i have worked as a designer dbi of the past 25 years. i will make it simple, it isq q- matic that does not work. it is too many floors to overcome. you spend a lot more time than kind to find your number than doing fan check. i think we should go back to the clipboard system. did you very much.
-- thank you very much. >> good morning. we do architecture engineering services and the city and have been around for the past 30 years. we do over 100 products per year. we also have an expedited site. we are one-stop shop basically. the issue we have is when i send my stuff to the billing department, if you use to spend 200 hours, you are there for 200 days. the numbers keep coming up missing. i cannot absorb this cost. it is really hitting my company in the pocket. we have no other choice but to transfer this to the client, which clients will be unhappy as well. i think the intent of the program may be was to automate this billing department, but i
do not think this is the way to do it, and it is really hurting a lot of people. maybe we could go out there and pay parking tickets at the same time. it might help. thank you. >> good morning, commissioners. i am a licensed electrical engineer. i personally have had no good experience with q-matic. monday i had to go in and have a question, and i was waiting at the line for 20 minutes. as the pd sweeney pointed out, using a wood fire, you want to go there and get them to sign off, but yet to wait and go through the process. if anything, it has made it completely less efficient. the queue. >>ank you.
>> my name is set reth brookshi. if anything, i think the system has improved a little bit by little bit. rather than look of the specifics of what does not work, i would rather zoom out and look of the big picture and say square peg, round hole. i think the system is designed to herd cattle. no one is cattle. we're all professionals on both sides of the aisle. we have learned to work together, and sometimes that is difficult, sometimes easy. with the complexity to try to get us to move and move through the system following the robotic voice does not work. i think that while the clipboard may seem archaic, it is simple and works.
if we need more documentation of what project has been where, that clipboard system can be transferred to an ipad. q-matic treats us not as professionals but as cattle. i think it is problematic. think you. >> hypi. i have been doing business with dbi for over 15 years. things were starting to get where you could get somewhere, and this is the worst thing that has ever come by. i can give you an example that my existence -- my assistant and i did a test. we were waiting to pay. we were 10th in line. we watched in the computer where we went. we are back down to 10 again. then what do you do? we're sitting there and finally
we get our number called, and lo and behold to numbers, same person. to different people have the same number. then you have a cat fight about who is going next. the timing of it is awful. a civil permit use to take me three hours. thank you. >> i am a little short. i have been pulling commercial tenant improvement permits for the past eight years. i do this in oakland. iq-matic works and other cities because to go in and take four or five permits and go to the clerk and put them in and walk away and go wherever they need to go. here and i have four or five permits that have several different scenario. two weeks ago i had a permit that was a can of peas or have
to go to structural and to fire. i had a title 24 mechanical permit. all different systems and different kinds of plan checkers and need to see. i was there probably a day and a half to get all the other permits. the first weeks -- the first day i had a commercial demote permit that goes to one station. i got there and at a clock and did not lleave until 4:00. -- got there art 9:00 and did ntot leave until 4:00. i personally remember the old system would we have specialized counters for people, and i feel like even though we didn't do over the counter, it moved faster.
i just think there needs to be a different system. i do not know about shopping for plan checkers. i do not know if it is about who is falling favoritism or who to avoid. there are certainly those that i like to avoid because i do not get a clean plan check, but there needs to be a system for monitoring better. thank you. i am sure you hear a lot of different things today, but i would really like to see a different system. >> my name is rachel pollard. i follow lot of permits for homeowners and residential. -- i pull a lot of permits for homeowners and residential.
our clients are complaining. it is legitimately because it is taking forever. you go wait in line on the first floor, and they tell you there is a complete with the bill the department and have to go to the third floor. this complaint has already been resolved. they send it back to the first floor and have to go back to wait again. it is just a circle people go in that never used to happen before. i strongly do not like this system. thank you. >> good morning, commissioners. any ms. bruce baughman. i have been processing permit since been ths since the mid-1'.
i suffer from remembering how the system began. i echo what pat said, the system was not broken. the system worked well, the department is understaffed. they work very hard. i think we should go back to the clipboard. i think it worked. i think if the department would like to work on perhaps making changes to the system once the q-matic is gone, i would be more than happy to assist in that. >> thank you. next comment. >> good morning, commissioners. my name is colin miller. there a work withi eotwork with.
this is affecting all the way to the inspections as clients are canceling inspections, and i am hearing nothing but bad feedback from contractors that it is doubling their time and not able to get revision permits. this is caused tons of conversations on my end, and at the end of the day it is passed on to the homeowner, and that is not fair. >> good morning, commissioners. my name is patrick 0 bellino'de. you have heard that it is taking longer to process permits and productivity is slightly down and varies from department to department. you have heard from people on the other side of the counter, whether it is the homeowner that
has to take a few hours of work to process the permits or professional there every single day, it is taking longer from the public side and productivity is down. by any rational business standard that would make it non- starter. i ask that you look at this very closely. i think to give it a little bit of context, when q-matic was in its inception, commercial plan check was done on the second floor with one plan checker to take care of all of the permits for the whole city. i think the department deserves a lot of credit. the fifth floor system works very well. we are able to get a lot of permits the very in complexity over the counter. he is there in the trenches trying to resolve issues that are very complex, and this is a
very complex process. i would ask the commission to continue to look into this and figure out a way to make this effective or plan checks back to keep things moving, and the customers to go through there in an efficient manner. i would also like to point out that while everyone is talking about q-matic i do not want to look -- lose sight of what fans that are not processed over-the- counter. there are a lot more construction jobs right now than there were a few years ago and a lot of people that want to keep working. the backlogs are growing. we understand the department is overstaffed, but that trend will not change. that not only affects the downtown high-rise, but it affects the homeowner doing a third floor addition of the house because they're stuck behind a large project like that.
thank you very much. >> good morning, commissioners. i have been with the department since 1998. the system you have down there with the clipboards was working just fine. it was simple. it was flexible enough to allow us to go where we need to go. if there was a decline in one station week ago to a plan check station where there was no line. all of that is gone. it simply does not work. oakland has for plan check stations. go to the station and drop your plant in york on. the system we have before work just fine. i encourage you to go back to the system. it is going to be better. this current thing is wasting
your time and my time. thank you very much. >> good morning, commissioners. good morning. i hate public speaking, and this is the first time i have done it. i work for builders. you have the best system in the bay area for over the counter permits until q-matic. don said something about going to the doctor, but i have not done that because if you leave there is no speaker in the bathroom and do not have enough time to come out. please go back to the clipboard. my name is jackie krivenar. >> good morning, commissioners. i have been a licensed architecture for 27 years. it is a giant step backwards. i strongly urge you to strap it
-- scrap it completely. there has been enough we spend money on it. there is extensive waste the system has attracted. a lot of the issues that caused the delay have been identified. a couple of additional ones that i book does mention is basically i had a contractor that typically would go through with a permit approval, and the contractor picks up the crude drawings, brings the check and insurance information and is done here that i had a contractor that waited three hours just to be able to have the privilege of paying fees to obtain the permit, and it was because the way the system rotates people that have been in the queue going to the system all morning are ahead of the later number that is drawn, even if it is just one function like paying the fees. that is just one example. i do not think the system is worthy of any war effort to try to salvage it. it has been a tremendous birder
rigid burden on everyone. -- it has been a tremendous burden on everyone. twice since it has been there it has taken the 35-45 minutes to do a two-minute function. it is because of the way the system puts different folks in the queue ahead of different folks, depending on what your letter is. i think it is to rot with flaws and issues that because it is so and flexible in the system, it is not worthy of any more efforts to salvage, and i strongly urge you to stop it completely. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. >> i only go to dbi to pull one type of permit, a street space permits.
the reason i cannot do that at the main office is because i have to go to dbi for voluntary repairs. i used to be able to get in and out of there -- when it was on the first floor with a good number, i was behind everyone with their plans. it would take me hours to pull a five minute permit. on average, 10-15 minutes on a busy day. now it is 90 minutes-2 outburst, which as of 400 this as an increase in my time. instead of being able to comp clients the permit time spent, i will have to start charging people, and that will mean less work, because my prices will be higher than competition. being one of the few guys that follows code, i prices are already higher than the
competition. the other thing is you cannot take calls, because you have this thing going in the background, so taking a business call is almost impossible. the clipboard system did work well. i agree with the other person of the go to an ipad if you want to digitize it. that system was great. now that the person and all the rest of the people have to go to their computers to stop what they're doing, they have to go into the queue, and that is slowing down productivity. by the end of the day they may have held three or four of us people as a result of having to stop and pull of the next number. i do not have the multiple station issues that everyone else has, but i have this one issue that i can no longer get in and out of there. i have four employees. there are only five of us. it is hard for me to take a whole afternoon off to poll the permits. i hope that you guys will kill
this system very quickly and go back to the clipboard, because it works well. >> thank you for your comments. next speaker, please. >> commissioners, my name is pamela harris. i am an expediter. i've been an expediter here in san francisco and bay area since the late 1990's. i am now an independent expediter pierre yen just to clear up something, i view expediting as an art form, because i take time to figure of and knows what of the building department. it is my job to make sure our project when you get to the field does not have problems. i know certain people no different issues of the city, and i want to see them, so i am selective of who i see.
i need to see a tough expediter if i have a tough issue. so that is my job. that is how i view it. when it came out, i took my time to assess what was going on. the first couple of weeks will always be problems and issues. i took my time to come toconclua faster system, which it claims it is trying to do. i understand but there were trying to do. there is no connection to the ticket. how was it transparent? that is not transparency. at least when you had a clipboard you could write down who was doing the work of getting the plan check, bringing the drawings in. in fire at least to have a connection to the permit.
that is a tropical system. who is bringing it in and what work is being done? this system is not tractable. i usually work on tenant improvements downtown projects. primarily. i usually have to go to building, fire, puc, all kinds of -- may be planning sometimes. i have one great comment about the u-ticket. once you get started, your time is what keeps you -- it takes you to the front of the line. once my ticket starts, then i am kicked to the front of the line whenever next station i have to go to. is that fair? i ano